I've read four Kristan Higgins novels so far this year, and I don't think I've rated any of them less than 4.5 out of 5. While this one was quite diff...moreI've read four Kristan Higgins novels so far this year, and I don't think I've rated any of them less than 4.5 out of 5. While this one was quite different from her Blue Heron series, it still had Kristan's trademark humour, quirky family relationships and a heroine who continually finds herself in embarrassing moments.
Some people seem to have disliked the first-person perspective of this novel, particularly as it provides very little insight into the hero's thoughts and feelings. Personally, I thought of this book more of a chick-lit novel than a contemporary romance, and for that reason I didn't mind that the book was told entirely from Maggie's point of view. Although the romance between her and Malone is important, a large part of the story focuses on her personal journey--dealing with her perpetual singleness, her dependency on her sister and the local priest, figuring out her relationship with her mother, learning to take pride in her business, etc. Her relationship with Malone wasn't necessarily tacked on at the end, but he also wasn't the only source of her happiness. I don't read a lot of chick-lit any more, but I really enjoyed this book. However, if you're wanting a standard romance, this might not be for you.
Given that this is one of Kristan's earlier novels, I didn't have such high expectations as I do for her more recent books, and for a while I was convinced that I'd figured out two big twists in the story. As it turns out, I was completely and utterly wrong, so the red herrings in this book were fantastic! There was one thing that I suspected towards the end, but that was only after I ruled out all the other options. This book definitely wasn't predictable, and I fell into some of the same traps as Maggie with my suspicions.
I didn't completely and utterly love this book, and if I had to pin-point one thing that occasionally bugged me, it's probably that it didn't always seem entirely realistic for Maggie to end up in so many embarrassing situations. I think this is a common trope in Kristan's books, but in this one it felt a little overdone at times, especially with some of the blind dates or situations with the priest. It isn't a major flaw, however.
While some people have complained about Malone being too silent for much of the book, I don't think I minded this too much. I guess I kind of like the strong, silent type of hero, who waits patiently for the right moment to show how he cares for the heroine, rather than a pushy guy who won't shut up. Malone's quiet personality made certain situations and moments all the more special simply because I could see he was making a special effort for Maggie. If you want a pushy alpha male, he's definitely not the hero for you, but I came to appreciate Malone.
My library has the second book in this series, and it looks like I picked up the third book for 59p on Kindle a few months ago, so I'll definitely be looking forward to revisiting Gideon's Cove. While this book had a different style from Kristan's newer books, it was still fantastically written and of a very similar quality. Highly recommended! 4.5*(less)
I am absolutely loving this series, and I'm glad I only have to wait until September before the next book releases (and Jack is finally getting his ow...moreI am absolutely loving this series, and I'm glad I only have to wait until September before the next book releases (and Jack is finally getting his own story!)! Thankfully I still have a lot of Kristan's back-catalogue to work through while I wait.
Colleen isn't a character I became particularly attached to in the previous books, which made her story all the more enjoyable. I loved the premise of her being a matchmaker who was perpetually single, partially hung up on her high school sweetheart. Colleen was a fabulously flawed character--even if she loved to help everyone out with her matchmaking, she had her own ideals of how relationships should work, and it took her a long time to realise that sometimes people don't need to change in order to find happiness (like Polly and Bryce). My heart ached for her and the issues she had with her father, feeling like he'd abandoned the children from his first marriage, even if she did adore her half-sister. I particularly liked the details about her friendship with Savannah, her little sister, and the evolution of her relationship with her step-mother.
Lucas' backstory was also really interesting, and I became frustrated with how little Lucas' aunt respected him, just because he didn't come from a terribly respectable background. There were times when Lucas seemed a little selfish and stubborn, but like Colleen, he needed time to realise his mistakes and appreciate the good things that were already in his life. His relationship with his uncle and cousin were endearing, as were the little snippets we got with his sister and four nieces. Even if Lucas was a little too brooding at times for my taste, I loved his relationship with Colleen, and I was thankful that they were able to work things out, in spite of their past mistakes.
The Blue Heron series is starting to remind me a little of Robyn Carr's Virgin River, with the snippets of insight into the lives of the other characters in the town. Don't get me wrong, this story focuses entirely on Colleen and Bryce, but since Colleen works at the town bar and is friends with characters from previous books, we get to see how their lives are progressing. There are also fun cameos from minor characters who appeared previously, like the ridiculously young doctor at the hospital, and the quirky professor who taught at the same university as Tom. This continuity was a pleasant surprise.
I can't honestly think of anything I didn't like about this book. Like I said, it took a while for Colleen and Lucas to admit to their shortcomings, and until they did I found myself frustrated with them, but the culmination of those issues made this book even better. I think this is probably one of my favourite books of the year!
And as with the last book in the series, Amy Rubinate is a fantastic narrator. I highly recommend this audiobook!(less)
I was about sceptical about this "episode", but I ended up enjoying it. It's was an easy listen, and compelling in places, but there were so many diff...moreI was about sceptical about this "episode", but I ended up enjoying it. It's was an easy listen, and compelling in places, but there were so many different characters to keep track of that I found my mind drifting at times--which doesn't happen very often when I'm listening to audiobooks.
The idea of book serials made up of short episodes has never particularly appealed to me, so I wouldn't have picked this one up if it hadn't been free on Audible and by an author I enjoy. But even if I did like this little introduction to Hidden Falls, I can't see myself purchasing each instalment in the serial. The audiobooks are £2.27 each, and the ebooks £1.23, which isn't overly expensive, but it works out at £27 or £15 for the entire series (since the first volume is free), which is far more than I'd pay for a standard book. It does look like the entire series will be released in a single volume later this year, so I'd consider getting that. Otherwise, I can't justify spending that much money on each short episode. (less)